Robert Warshow, the who did pop culture right.Mar 25, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 27 • By TERRY TEACHOUT
The Immediate Experience
Movies, Comics, Theatre and Other Aspects of Popular Culture
by Robert Warshow
Harvard University Press, 302 pp., $18.95
AMONG my prized possessions is a battered copy of Robert Warshow's "The Immediate Experience: Movies, Comics, Theatre and Other Aspects of Popular Culture," an obscure collection of critical essays published in 1962 to no special acclaim.
The haunting of Hull House.Mar 25, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 27 • By PETER BERKOWITZ
Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy
by Jean Bethke Elshtain
Basic, 336 pp., $28
The Jane Addams Reader
edited by Jean Bethke Elshtain
Basic, 432 pp., $20
JEAN BETHKE ELSHTAIN, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago, intends her sympathetic intellectual biography of Jane Addams and her companion anthology of Addams's writings to contribute not only to an appreciation of Addams, but also to the current public debate about the meaning of democracy in America.
Good manners are hard to find.Mar 11, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 25 • By TRACY LEE SIMMONS
Debrett's New Guide to Etiquette & Modern Manners
The Indispensable Handbook
by John Morgan
St. Martin's Press, 384 pp., $27.95
"THERE ARE lots of us," Sebastian said of his aristocratic family to commoner Charles in "Brideshead Revisited." "Look them up in Debrett." He meant "Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage," the catalogue of British bluebloods first published in the eighteenth century; you can't get into the House of Lords without your own entry.
American democrats and the classics.Mar 4, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 24 • By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
The Culture of Classicism
Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910
by Caroline Winterer
Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 272 pp., $45
I USED TO leave graduate classes in Latin and Greek composition at Stanford on Fridays to drive home to the San Joaquin Valley to help on our grape farm over the weekend. Neither of these antithetical worlds knew anything about the other.
The virtues and the vices of the initiative process.Mar 4, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 24 • By JOHN J. PITNEY
Democratic Delusions The Initiative Process in America by Richard J. Ellis University Press of Kansas, 240 pp., $17.95 paper TEVYE, the conflicted main character of "Fiddler on the Roof," pondered tough choices by arguing with himself, starting each new line of thought with the phrase, "On the other hand . . ." For conservatives, the initiative process is a Tevye issue. Two dozen states and many localities have some version of the initiative, which enables citizens to make law by popular vote. Conservatives have scored important political triumphs this way.
Steven Emerson has been worrying about terrorism for years. And for his trouble, he was labeled a crank.11:01 PM, Feb 12, 2002 • By RICHARD STARR
WASHINGTON is full of guys (and yes, the type is more male than female) who are an important part of the media food chain, yet who themselves are rarely written about. These are the obsessive single-issue experts, usually allying encyclopedic knowledge of a narrow issue with some kind of advocacy.
These guys are the desperate reporter's best friend. When the reporter is unfortunate enough to be assigned a story on, say, the Law of the Sea Treaty, there will be a guy who knows everything the reporter will need to do the story.
The argument against euthanasia.Feb 18, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 22 • By WESLEY J. SMITH
The Case Against Assisted Suicide
For the Right to End-Of-Life Care
edited by Kathleen M. Foley and Herbert Hendin
Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 392 pp., $49.95
Supporters of legalizing assisted suicide often claim religious belief is the only reason to oppose killing as an acceptable answer to human suffering. That being so, the argument goes, prohibitions against assisted suicide actually amount to the imposition of religious doctrine on statutory law, which violates the First Amendment's establishment clause.
The entire notion is ridiculous, of course.
Pat Buchanan's world.Feb 18, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 22 • By JOSH CHAFETZ
The Death of the West
How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Dunne, 320 pp., $25.95
Pat Buchanan's thesis in "The Death of the West" is simple enough: The "cultural revolution" that swept across the West in the 1960s led to wide-spread libertinism, one consequence of which has been a drastic lowering of the birthrate in Western societies.
Why do online magazines want their work preserved in books?Feb 18, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 22 • By RICHARD KOSTELANETZ
The Best of Pif Magazine Off-Line
Short Stories, Poetry, and Essays Selected from PifMagazine.com
edited by Camille Renshaw, et al.
Fusion, 152 pp., $14.95
The Salon.Com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors
An Opinionated, Irreverent Look at the Most Fascinating Writers of Our Time
edited by Laura Miller and Adam Begley
Penguin, 512 pp., $16.95
Full Frontal Fiction
The Best of Nerve.Com
edited by Jack Murnighan, et al.
Three Rivers, 285 pp., $14
The Smoking Gun
A Dossier of Secret, Surprising, and Salacious Documents from the Files of TheSmokingGun.com
edited by Wil
How Charley Patton made the blues.Feb 4, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 20 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues
The Worlds of Charley Patton
Revenant, 7 CDs, $169.98
EVERY BLACK living in the Mississippi Delta during the 1920s knew of Charley Patton, and many of the whites did too. A slight man of mixed ancestry, he traveled with his guitar from plantation to plantation, juke joint to juke joint, across the dusty roads of the Delta, earning a reputation as an innovative musician and an extraordinary and tireless entertainer.
Caspar Weinberger remembers his days in the ring.Dec 17, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 14 • By ROBERT D. NOVAK
In the Arena
A Memoir of the 20th Century
by Caspar W. Weinberger, with Gretchen Roberts
Regnery, 412 pp., $34.95
WHEN I OPENED Caspar Weinberger's memoir, an irresistible impulse propelled me to the chapter describing his outrageous persecution in 1992 by Lawrence Walsh, the out-of-control Iran-Contra independent counsel.
The remarkable writing of a remarkable woman.Dec 3, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 12 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
IN HER RECENT not-quite-a-memoir, "An Old Wife's Tale: My Seven Decades in Love and War," the great social critic Midge Decter gives an episodic account of her life as a New York intellectual and devotes more space, as it turns out, to discussing her children than her books. What kind of social critic, great or not, finds her children more remarkable than her books?
To declare my own interest: I know three of Midge Decter's four children, and find them remarkable too. I hope readers flock to "An Old Wife's Tale" and enjoy it as most reviewers did--as J.
Alan Dershowitz's advice to young lawyers.Nov 26, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 11 • By AITAN GOELMAN
Letters to a Young Lawyer
by Alan Dershowitz
Basic Books, 226 pp., $22
CLAIMING TO FOLLOW in the footsteps of Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet," Basic Books has begun publishing a series of mentoring books designed to provide advice to young people beginning their careers. One of the first volumes, entitled "Letters to a Young Lawyer," is by the ubiquitous Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor and celebrity lawyer for such clients as Claus von Bulow and O.J. Simpson.
Religion as narcissism.Nov 26, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 11 • By CATHERINE SANDERS
A Spiritual Guide to Making Magic
by Phyllis Curott
Broadway Books, 304 pp., $25
BROWSE IN ANY bookstore's "spirituality" section and you'll find dozens of books about Wicca and the world of modern-day witchcraft.
Bad movies, overinterpreted.Nov 26, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 11 • By DANIEL WATTENBERG
Movie Love in the Fifties
by James Harvey
Knopf, 464 pp., $35
IF YOU PICKED UP a copy of James Harvey's last book, "Romantic Comedy in Hollywood," you have a notion of what he prizes in movies: wit, skepticism, independence, feistiness, joie de vivre, mystery, and sexiness. In his new "Movie Love in the Fifties," Harvey writes about a decade--a long decade stretching from the noir thrillers of the late 1940s to the early 1960s--in which a newly pious popular culture frowned on the qualities his previous book celebrated.